There’s no question that the Los Angeles Lakers could use any and all reinforcements available for their 2019 NBA Playoff push. Unfortunately, it’s beginning to look more and more like one of those players won’t be point guard Lonzo Ball. While Ball has been sidelined due to an ankle injury since before the All-Star break, his original timeline for return isn’t expected to pan out.
Ball was originally diagnosed with a Grade 3 ankle sprain, and the Lakers revealed a timeline for return of four to six weeks. That would technically leave the door open for him to see the court sometime around early-to-mid March, but recent rumblings point to a less-than-ideal outlook and update on that timeline. Even if Ball did make it back within the next week or so, it still may not be enough time to help the Lakers also.
The most recent report points to the idea that the young guard could be out for the remainder of the season, even if the team makes the playoffs.
Lonzo Ball May Require Surgery?
As Lakers analyst Anthony Irwin revealed on the Locked on NBA podcast, he doesn’t believe Ball will play again this year and states that his injury would typically require surgery. The podcast was transcribed by Express.co.uk:
“I don’t think we’re going to see Lonzo Ball again this year,” Irwin said on the Locked on NBA podcast.
“He had that Grade 3 ankle sprain that the Lakers said was going to keep him out for four-to-six weeks, which is the general statement with any non-serious sports injury.”
“But they said it was a Grade 3 sprain, which usually requires surgery.
“You look at other Grade 3 spins that didn’t require surgery, they usually came back in more of an eight-to-10-to-12 week range.”
This came just after Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reported that Ball was also dealing with a bone bruise which had the potential to leave him sidelined longer than expected as well. The report from Ganguli was made on February 22.
Extended Injury Return Timeline Addressed by Doctor
A similar insight to the one made by Irwin was also brought to light by Dr. John Paul Elton, who’s a foot and ankle specialist in Colorado. He wrote a story about the injury suffered by Ball and stated that a Grade 3 sprain typically comes with a recovery of 8-12 weeks. Elton also said that the timeline of four-to-six weeks which was given by the team is the normal recovery for a Grade 2 sprain.
Along with the details of a normal return, the doctor also offered some insight into the symptoms that come with a Grade 3 sprain.
- Significant instability in the joint
- Major pain at the time of the injury, followed by a lack of pain after the injury
- Severe Stiffness
- Excessive Bruising
It’s unknown if Ball suffered these symptoms or what a realistic expectation is for when he could see the floor again this season if he does at all.